There are protections to keep in mind when you first buy a Medicare supplement insurance plan (Medigap policy) or if your medical insurance coverage changes. These rules are very important in order to purchase the best Medicare supplement insurance plan available.
The Best Time to Buy a Medicare Supplemental Insurance Plan? The best time to buy a Medicare supplement iInsurance plan is during your six month open enrollment period. Once you sign up for Medicare Part B, you have six months to purchase any Medicare supplemental insurance policy. This six month period is called the six month open enrollment period and is offered one time only.
Government Regulations that Apply for this Situation: You have the right to buy any supplemental Medicare coverage sold in your state. You must apply no later than 63 calendar days after your health coverage ends. If you’re still in your Medicare supplement open enrollment period after you leave the Medicare plan, you may have more than 63 calendar days to buy a Medicare supplement coverage policy.
If you are under 65 and have Medicare due to a disability, you don’t have a Medicare supplement insurance six month open enrollment period until you turn 65. However, some states require insurers to offer Medicare supplement insurance plans to you. Contact your state insurance department.
Medicare Supplement Protections Pre-Existing Conditions.
You moved outside your plan’s service coverage area; or you left the Medicare plan because the plan failed to meet its contractual obligations to you. Your retiree group health insurance, which was providing your Medicare supplemental coverage , ended. Your Medicare supplement company ended your Medicare supplement coverage or Medicare SELECT plan. For example, the Medicare insurer went out of business.
You may also have a waiting period if you switch to a Medicare supplement insurance plan with more benefits. In this case, the waiting period would be for the extra benefits. For example, if you switch from Medicare supplement insurance Plan C to supplemental Medicare insurance Plan F, you might have a waiting period before you begin getting the Medicare Part B excess charge benefit. Some states have a different set of rules about the six month waiting period.
If you have a pre existing condition, check with your state insurance department. You buy a Medicare supplement policy during your six month open enrollment period and have had at least six months of previous health insurance coverage. In this situation, the supplement Medicare insurance company can not impose any waiting period. If you had less than six months of health insurance, the waiting period will be reduced by the number of months you had the health insurance.
However, the premiums may vary. Study all the Medicare supplemental health care plans before deciding which is best for you. Each Medicare supplement health policy offers different benefits. For instance, some plans cover deductibles and coinsurance. Other plans also cover some home health care and prescription drugs.
Deductible: The amount you pay for your health care before Medicare begins to pay. Coinsurance: The amount you pay (usually a percentage) for your care, after you pay the deductible.